–by Gayleen Gindy
Those who lived in Sylvania in 1995 then may have toured the inside of this house. The owners at that time, Gus and Ruth Liaros, allowed a committee from the Sylvania Senior Center to use their home as part of a “Historic Home Tour” that was held to raise “seed” money to help build a new senior center in Sylvania.
For the fundraiser there were six older homes throughout Sylvania that were available to tour. The homeowners opened their doors to anyone who purchased a ticket. Tour guides throughout the house explained the details of each home. The Liaros home was described as having beautiful original woodwork refinished with oil. To the right of the living room there was a small parlor that had pocket doors. In the parlor was a fireplace patented by Orville and Wilbur Wright. It used only a 9-inch log, and the fireplace was flanked by lead glass cupboards. At the time Mrs. Liaros had a full-sized papier-mache indian that she made, which she said watched over the room.
The brochure for the home tour then described the living room and dining room being separated by wood columns. In the dining room was a built-in china cupboard with lead glass design. The kitchen was off the dining room, and the woodwork in there was painted. There was a bathroom and pantry off the kitchen, where there was still a flour bin. There was also an enclosed staircase that had two doors, one from the kitchen and one from the living room. The second floor had three bedrooms and a bath. The original sleeping porch off the master bedroom had been made into a closet.
As I researched this home for the tour, I found that it was constructed in 1913 and only had a couple of families that had occupied it over the years, with basically the Howard family and the Liaros family owning it for all the years up to 2015:
- 1909 – Edwin G. and Edna Howard
- 1913 – Edwin G. and Edna Howard had the home constructed
- 1951 – Edwin C. Howard and Kenneth R. Howard
- 1952 – Edwin C. Howard
- 1952 – William K. Howard (grandson of Edwin G. and Edna Howard)
- 1965 – Gus P. and Ruth C. Liaros
- 1998 – Gus P. and Ruth C. Liaros, Trustees
- 2007 – Ruth C. Liaros, Trustee
- 2015 – Christmas In The Midwest LLC, an Ohio Corp. / then SMJ Brothers, LLC, an Ohio Corp.
- 2016 – Ryan J. and Ashley N. Bailey
The original owners were Edwin G. and Edna (Carmon) Howard. They were married in 1894 and lived first in Blissfield, Mich., and then moved to Sylvania in about 1907, after Howard purchased land and started operating a feed mill and grain business on the south side of Monroe Street, just east of Main Street. They first lived in a rented home on Summit Street. In 1913 they constructed this home on Maplewood Avenue. They lived in it until he died in 1950 and then Edna continued to live here until she died in 1952. However, in 1951 the home was transferred to her two sons.
After Edna Howard passed away her grandson, William K. Howard, purchased the home. William Howard and Patricia Walker were married in 1952. They lived in the home until 1965 when they purchased a larger home at 5916 N. Main St. and sold this home. William Howard owned and operated the Howard Gas & Oil business that took up the entire southeast corner of Main and Monroe streets. This was where his grandfather and then father operated various businesses going back to 1907. The businesses included a gas station and boarding house, tire and battery shop, and then a car dealership before changing over to gas and oil sales. The Howard family owned this corner from 1907 through 1995 and their businesses changed over the years as the times changed. Thank you to Shelly Howard for sharing the old photos.
Gus and Ruth Liaros purchased this home in 1965. He passed away in 2007 and in 2015 the home transferred into the two different LLCs. In 2016 it was sold to Ryan and Ashley Bailey.
Gus and Ruth Liaros, whom I knew personally, were well-known throughout Sylvania, especially in the downtown area. They were involved with the chamber and various downtown business groups over the years. They used to own the building on the southwest corner of Main Street and Maplewood Avenue, which they purchased in 1974.
From 1985 to 1988 they operated an art gallery called Liaros Gallery and later a coffee shop off the back portion of that building called Kosta’s Kaffe. Remember?
According to Ancestry.com. Gus was born in 1926 in Toledo and attended Scott High School. In 1945 he served during World War II. His wife, Ruth C. Schneider Liaros, was born in 1930 in Toledo and attended Waite High School and then the University of Toledo.